Study used to better understand student mental health

Quinnipiac University administrators are conducting an online study to understand stuimprove mental health and well-being and help better understand needs on campus.

Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Health and Wellness Kerry Patton, along with a team of researchers from the University of Michigan, sent an email Oct. 12 to all students announcing the survey, called the Healthy Minds Study.

Patton said the purpose of this survey is to better understand student mental, emotional and mental health topics and support resources.

All Quinnipiac students are invited to participate in the Healthy Minds Study. It’s a 25-minute online study conducted by researchers at Michigan’s School of Public Health and open for four weeks until November 7.

“The goal is that once we get feedback, we can understand what are the things students are saying that are helpful,” Patton told the Chronicle.

This survey is not without benefits for students, Patton said. Not only will students potentially have improved mental health services in the near future, but there is an opportunity for them to win prizes.

Those who complete the survey will be entered into a raffle, in which two students will be selected to win $500 and five students will be selected to win $100.

Although Patton admits it’s a long survey, she pointed out the many ways it can benefit the campus environment.

“If we’ve seen a lot of students using a certain substance, maybe that’s something we can address in some kind of programming,” Patton said. “If we find that students feel more depressed mid-term, how can we look at that data to know how we can program?”

Quinnipiac is one of more than 400 colleges to enroll students in the Healthy Minds Survey as a partner of the JED Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to protect the emotional and mental well-being of adolescents and young adults.

patton said the JED initiative is a four-year commitment to assess well-being at the university. A team has been created across different disciplines to help understand the policies already in place and what can be improved.

This summer, the university received a to agree of Governor Ned Lamont to improve mental health on campus. Patton said some of the grant money was used for Quinnipiac’s JED status.

“I think nationally there’s an increase when you talk about mental health,” Patton said. “One in four college students struggling with mental health issues, that’s about a national increase, since COVID in particular.

According to Mayo Clinic Health System, 44% of students report symptoms of depression and anxiety. One of the main causes of these symptoms is the increased cost of education.

Tim Malone, a film, television and media arts graduate, said the Healthy Minds study is an effective way to assess the mental well-being of the general student population.

He said Quinnipiac is doing a great job of supporting student mental health through counseling services, and knows of students who have used the services and had positive experiences.

“I feel like there are a lot of students out there who want guidance and to get involved, but they just don’t know what the first step is,” Malone said.

Malone said many students find it difficult to deal with stress and social situations, especially when first arriving at Quinnipiac.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of students, finding your place and your home your first semester, even your first two semesters, is tough when you feel isolated, as is when mental health is crucial to having a jump” , Malone said.

Julien Mercado Bonanno, a freshman in media studies, echoed Malone’s sentiment about the difficulty of making the transition to college.

“I really think for freshmen, coming into a new environment, you don’t necessarily know what to expect.” said Mercado Bonanno.

Mercado Bonnano also pointed out that lack of routine and change are often the cause of stress for many first-year students.

“I think making sure students understand the resources, having the ability to receive guidance in person and on Zoom.” said Patton. “But we also have a new digital dashboard. It’s not a real app, but it’s called Togetherall.

As for other initiatives to address student mental health, Quinnipiac promoted Togetherall, an online community where students can anonymously get support for their mental health, by last month’s parent newsletter.​​ There are also on-campus counseling services and other online resources.

According to American Psychological Associationseveral studies show that 75% of people who undergo therapy derive some benefit from it.

“College is a scary thing, we’re all in this together,” Mercado Bonanno said. “It’s normal not to know what you’re doing. It’s a process, it takes time. . . Give yourself time to adjust and talk to people if you need to.

About Stephen Ewing

Check Also

Professors aim to have open communication about mental health – Iowa State Daily

Falling behind in class due to burnout, personal difficulties, or lack of motivation is not …